Humans is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
The dating world can be a scary concept for anyone. We never want to experience that dreaded feeling of rejection when a date doesn't go like we planned. Yet, we try again after our inner hopeless romantics break through and convince us that we deserved to be loved, whether the person is able-bodied or not.
I wanted to flip the script a little and speak about dating with a disability (yes, it can be done) even though it can be unexpected. Being a young woman with mild cerebral palsy in her mid 20s with a stable job, I'm looking for a stable, loving relationship like any other lady in my situation. Typically where I live, it's expected that by 25 I should have at least one or two kids and a relationship by now, and MAYBE a career to go along with it. Instead, I dove head first into school and work rather than the relationship route.
I have dated mostly able-bodied partners in the past, but nine times out of ten nothing would come of the relationship and we would distance ourselves from one another. Part of my soul knows that it's because they simply didn't understand CP itself, and that's perfectly ok with me. I always am a little bit concerned at first when I go out for a dinner or drinks, the first thing my date would see is my chair and the stigma wall would come right back up again. Thoughts would run through my head, like, Does he see me or just the chair, and is this a sympathy thing? It could get really really awkward, but I would push through anyway. I frankly enjoy the moment when they realize that I'm just as normal as any other woman with desires. It's like a little light bulb flicks on and the wall comes down when they look at me as a real person.
It's difficult to let that wall of uncertainty come down and open up to someone new, especially when you have a disability because you want to feel safe and loved by the person that your willing to give your heart to. You don't want to feel like an obligation or a burden in your lover's eyes because they may have to support you in more ways than one, compared to a typical relationship. I never wish for a partner, never, to feel like a "caregiver" only, rather than the confidante they should be to you when it comes to dating.
I personally prefer dating someone in my close circle rather than branching out into the jungle of online dating that can be terrifying. You can never realize true intentions just through an app. Just putting together a true bio can be nerve wracking because you don't know whether to explain about your disability or not out of fear of being judged by the other person. You never quite know if a potential partner just wants to be with you for you, or just to experience what it's like just to date a person with a disability. It hurts my heart having to deal with that stigma but I keep trying anyway.
I will always keep trying regardless. I will forever be a hopeless romantic.